Tuesday, August 28, 2012

P is for Parties!

These past few days had been so busy.  Busy with baking, small parties, and with the most anticipated time of the year: back to school day! Most anticipated for parents but for the kids, back to school is probably at the bottom of their list. Way below Christmas, birthday, Halloween, Easter, summer vacation, breaks, etc...yeah, I think it's way down there! But I was very glad that Logan was actually excited to be back to school.  He even asked for an alarm clock to put in his room to make sure he gets up on time for school.

I can't believe that I now have a first grader! He's growing up so fast. He's becoming a more confident, independent, and responsible little boy. Sometimes, I can't wait to see what he grows up to be.  Then I get emotional and wish that he'll just stay little as he is now and never grow up.  I feel like this is a really fun and awesome stage and I don't want it to change.  But then again, I still don't know what's ahead of me.  Maybe it's even better. I think I just think too much!

First day of First Grade. His teacher is Ms. Steuber. He was a bit bummed that his friend Mason from his class last year (and fellow cub scout!) is not in the same class as his. But excited that Elisha, also from his class last year, is, and so is his friend David, who was also in his swim team.  All three of them ride the same bus too!

While Logan was in school, Izzie and I planned a little "First Day of School" party for him when he got home.  Actually, I think this is becoming a tradition now.  We thew him a party too last year, on his first day of Kindergarten.  Look at the picture below.

Logan's first day of Kindergarten party. Aug. 29, 2011. We had pretzels, cake pops, cookies, and lemonade.

Some might think it's a little excessive but the way I look at it, it's something that he will remember when he gets older.  He will remember that first day of school is always fun and exciting and something to celebrate for.  I know a lot of families have their own first day of school traditions.  Well, for us, this is how we do it. Our own little private party :)

This year, this is what we had:

A for apple pie

B for Baby Cupcakes

C for Chunky Chocolate Chip cookies

F for Fortune cookies. I know, I know, we jumped from C to F! But I didn't really want to make a lot of stuff since the party is really just for Logan, Izzie, and I.  But I did want to make something a little more special this year.  I just wanted to let him know that it will be an awesome year and I want him to be really excited about it.  And what better way to express it than having him read it as his "fortune"? The most exciting part of it too (for me at least) is that he is able to read most of the messages now! By the way, making fortune cookies from scratch is not as hard as I thought it would be.  I'll give you the recipe next time.  Actually, I just found it online :)
We had our "party" on the deck this year.  We also had watermelon and lemonade
Izzie serving us some lemonade :)
Very impressed that with all the sweets on the table, the first thing he grabbed was the watermelon! That's my boy!
This was actually very cool.  I wished that he would pick this "fortune" first and he actually did! I swear I mixed up the cookies and he grabbed this first.  How cool is that?
The "fortunes".  So awesome he actually read all of them by himself, except for the big words independent, respectful, responsible. He'll get there :) Our goal this year is to learn to read well.

All those baking and planning really pays off when you see a big smile on his face and says afterwards that he "really liked all of it". 
So that was Monday.  This past Saturday, my brother turned 23! We celebrated his birthday with Sushi and Chinese food at Jasmine's in Leesburg. I made him "23" cupcakes...why have I not done this before?  So much easier than making a cake :)
See? Nice and simple :)

Well, I actually would have made him an actual cake if I didn't have to make this in the morning. Yeah, priorities, right? 

I made this for a friend of mine for her sister's birthday.  Her sister loves to run so I attempted to make a girl running but couldn't get one of the legs to raise a little higher since it wouldn't have much support to stand up.  But I'm happy to report that my friend called me the day after to tell me that they really enjoyed the cake.  The figure and the decorations were made of modeling chocolate.


On Friday, I made a little dessert table for a friend of mine who was having a Stella and Dot trunk show and a jewelry swap.  I tried to match Stella and Dot's blue, I think I got pretty close.  I didn't get to take a lot of pictures for this event and the ones I took were mostly taken from my iPod.
The menu
Mini chocolate cheesecake topped with whipped cream (yes, it's from scratch too) and shaved chocolate.  I'm liking this using individual cups.
Mini chocolate cupcakes with rosette frosting
Chocolate chip cookies! These were so good especially when still warm! Notice the upper right corner? I tested that one :)
When you break this cookie, there's more chocolate than dough! Thanks Jacques Torres for the recipe!
Vanilla macarons
On my way to deliver the goodies, I realized I didn't bring any of my cameras! But luckily, my friend snapped a few pictures after set up.


So those were my busy past few days.  I think I'll take a little break for now...but I just received my cocoa powder order today.  Plus, Izzie is starting preschool next week.  She already informed me that she would love to have a party too on her first day of school.  Maybe I will post some pictures next week :) Stay tuned!

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